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Red Kayak Hardcover – September 23, 2004

149 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. In this satisfying crime and coming-of-age drama, a toddler drowns in a kayak accident after friends of teenage Brady, the victim's neighbor, vent some anger against the child's dad by drilling holes in the bottom of his craft. It was a mean-spirited prank--but no one was supposed to die. What happens now? Revealing the terrible secret would implicate Brady's friends in the drowning, and it clouds his whole world with guilt and fear. Cummings works plot and characterizations skillfully, building suspense as the evidence unfolds and as Brady wrestles with his decision and tries to come to terms with his own responsibility. Brady's eastern-Maryland surroundings and heritage (his father, a waterman, struggles to make a living from crabbing) are also vividly evoked. Brady's ultimate decision is both anguished and well reasoned, making for a realistic conclusion. Anne O'Malley
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Review

“Cummings has created a multifaceted story that is as much about the families and life in the Chesapeake as it is about a prank gone awry. Brady’s bighearted cousin Carl, his supportive father, and the anguished Mrs. DiAngelo are particularly well-developed characters who are pivotal in Brady’s understanding of the path he must choose. This well-crafted story will have broad appeal.”—School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1st edition (September 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525473173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525473176
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,971,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a seventh grader from Seattle, and I read the Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings. I thought it was a good book and I thought I would share my opinion.

It is about a 13-year old named Brady who leads a normal life as a working kid fishing for crabs when a new family, who is quite well off comes into the neighborhood. Tragedy strikes when their red kayak turns over in the bay and causes a tragic accident. Brady, who is on the rescue team and friendly with the family, investigates the cause of the accident, and he doesn't like what he finds.

This book is full of suspense and will keep you hooked from page 1 through the end of the story. It is a very interesting book and I think I would recommend it for people ages 10 and up. I give it four and a half out of 5 stars. It is a must read.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. Trout-Davidson on November 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best young adult/teenage novels I have read in a long time. It is well written and spoken like a 14 year old boy. I could not put this book down because I needed to know what happened to all of the characters. I can't wait to read other books by this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Denine M. Benedetto on February 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you are like most young teens, there will be a time when you will struggle to do the right thing. For sometimes, doing the right thing means your life or the life of someone else will never be the same. The Red Kayak is exactly that kind of story. This gripping and tragic story of a sunken red kayak centers on Brady, his two best friends and a Chesapeake Bay town that is undergoing some very big changes.
This book captures your attention from beginning to end with vivid descriptions and unexpected happenings. From the beginning, when the kayak is seen traveling down the street on top of a sports car, to the death of a young boy, and to the end when Brady discovers the truth behind the sunken kayak, the story grabs your attention. Brady is faced with one of the biggest decisions of his life.
I would highly recommend this book to any young readers, age 9 and up, because the reader can really relate to the many emotions and struggles of the characters. It is a quick and easy read with lots of suspense and life lessons. Even though the book is fictional, the author does a great job of making the story seem realistic.

-Kaylor Kelley
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Red Kayak is a story about three boys, Brady, Digger, and JT. Brady loves his life with his mom and dad on Chesapeake Bay crabbing and fishing, and just hanging out with his friends. But when the DiAngelos and their sparkling new red kayak move into the neighborhood, everything changes. Especially when the red kayak is taken out for a ride and the DiAngelos' son dies.

When Brady discovers the truth behind the red kayak the question is whether he should tell the world what happened or keep his discovery a secret, which could cost him his old life.

I really liked The Red Kayak. If you're someone who likes a page turner, you should read this book. I felt that the author, Priscilla Cummins, really put the story together well and kept the story exciting throughout the book.

I would rate this book four and a half stars. What I didn't like about The Red Kayak is the ending. It was too much like reality for me. But overall it was a really great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Edawrds on May 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Mrs. Z's Lit Circle Class. It was a very good book. I like the ending a lot. The book was written well so I kept wondering what would happen next. I love the mystery part of the book. We would recommend this for other middle schoolers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Never judge a book by its cover" is what I've always been told. But honestly, I looked at the cover of this book and thought "BO-RING!"

This book was recommended to me by my school librarian, and while she was telling how good this book was I was thinking "I don't know, the cover doesn't look appealing" but "Never judge a book by its cover" was ringing in my ears, so I decided to buy it, it was pretty cheap.
I got home and started reading the book. For some reason I didn't want to like it. I wanted to prove a book could be based on its cover. I got midway through the book before it was lunchtime and I just kept wondering what was going to happen.
When I finished the book I was disappointed in a good way about the ending. It isn't a bad ending, it is just an open one were you are left to imagine what would happen. I would have liked an epilogue... I am not saying the book is bad because of the ending, if anything it is the opposite. It lets you ponder about what would happen if... and what would have happened if....
I really hope the author writes a sequel to the book to answer unanswered questions about the ending.

Don't buy this book if you are expecting a happy ever after story!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Raeshelle Sharpnack on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son has read this book in only a few days and has begged me to get him the entire series of books from this set. This was a required book for his 6th grade English class and I am pleased that he wants to read more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sharon on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Needed this for a summer read and the couldn't find it in the library. It was delivered promptly and the the kids finished it quickly for school. And the price was great.
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